Cream of Celery Soup

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As a respite from my hourly battle with the Sugar Dragon this Christmas Eve of Delicious, Cooing, Uber-Sweet Treats Coming From All Directions, I made a soup. This is the perfect balance to the feasts we’ll be having and it warmed me through this afternoon. It’s deceptively simple, with the flavors coming from just a few ingredients, brought together with heat and love. Really, that’s how all the best food is made, don’t you think? At least through the chill of winter. Celery is such a forward ingredient, especially in this quantity, so the hint of tarragon and cream just accessorize it’s role. Use high quality, homemade chicken broth, full of gelatin and flavor and this will be the soup for your holiday, over-sweet soul.

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Cream of Celery Soup
Adapted from Bon Appétit, December 1995

Ingredients:
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
8-10 cups celery, chopped (fresh or frozen, about 2 heads, ribs and leaves)
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 cups chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream

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Instructions:
Melt butter with olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add celery and onions. Cover and cook until very tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Stir in salt, celery seed, tarragon, garlic and broth. Cover and simmer until all vegetables are very tender, about 30 more minutes. Puree in blender in batches. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.) Pour pureed soup into large saucepan. Add cream; bring to simmer, stirring often. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Ladle into bowls and serve.

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